Love Your Bones!

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD), 20th October, raises awareness of bone health and osteoporosis prevention.

‘Love Your Bones – Protect your future’ 

World Osteoporosis Day reminds us that maintaining strong, healthy bones is the key to an active and independent future. You need to start looking after your bones now!

Osteoporosis is not as well known about as other diseases. However, the effects on a person’s life can be devastating, if not fatal. Unlike a patient with high blood pressure, who would normally receive treatment to protect against possible cardiovascular events, only a minority of patients at fracture risk will be diagnosed and receive treatment to protect against potentially devastating, life-changing and even life-threatening fractures.

Some facts about osteoporosis and it’s affect on the population:

Osteoporotic posture

They say you are what you eat!

That’s very true for your bones too. Bones, formed of living tissue, need the right nutrients to stay strong and healthy. A balanced diet, combined with regular exercise, will help to optimize your bone health at all ages and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The size and the amount of bone contained in your skeleton changes significantly throughout life. Likewise, as you age, the specific nutritional needs of your skeleton change too.

What should I do to keep my bones strong?

  1. Calcium – the major building block of our skeletons and essential for healthy nerve and muscle function. Examples of food high in calcium include: milk, natural yoghurt, hard cheese, broccoli, , dried figs, nuts, tofu.
  2. Vitamin D – my blog Vitamin D and bones gives more information on this important vitamin. Foods containing some vitamin D include Wild salmon, farmed salmon, sardines, tuna, sundried shitake mushrooms, egg yolk. However, our main source of Vitamin D is from the sun.
  3. Protein – low protein intake is detrimental both for the building of peak bone mass during childhood and adolescence (affecting skeletal growth) and for the preservation of bone mass with ageing. Protein undernutrition also leads to reduced muscle mass and strength in seniors, which is a risk factor for falls. Protein-rich foods include dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans and nuts.

Bone-building tips for kids

Snack: on cheese, yoghurt, nuts and dried fruit

Drink: milk-based beverages, fruit smoothies and mineral waters

Eat: balanced meals that contain calcium and protein, as well as fruits and vegetables

Move: spend time outdoors on physical activities that involve running and jumping

Maintaining healthy bones as an adult

Bone tissue loss generally begins at around the age of 40 years when we can no longer replace bone tissue as quickly as we lose it. At this stage in life you should take action to stem the tide of bone loss.

Ensure bone-healthy nutrition, with sufficient calcium, protein, vitamin D and important micronutrients.

Engage in weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise. Avoid negative lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol use.

Adopting a bone-healthy lifestyle is of critical importance and adults need to pay particular attention at key points in their lives. In women, this is around the age of menopause when they experience a period of rapid bone loss due to a reduction in protective oestrogen levels. In men, bone loss accelerates after the age of 70 years.

Osteopathy can help

Osteoporosis doesn’t cause pain but the resulting fractures can often lead people to develop painful joints. This can show itself as leg pain, lower back pain, etc.

Studies have shown that osteopaths are in a good position to be able to help both prevent and evaluate the disease through early detection and advice on lifestyle changes.

Visit the World Osteoporosis Day website for lots more information and advice on osteoporosis.

Contact us to see how osteopathy can help you. We are happy to answer your questions.

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